When presented with guns' unique niche in the pantheon of consumer products, the industry and its cheerleaders like the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) go into a well-practiced spiel of how in fact they're actually the most regulated industry in America -- citing dealer and manufacturer licensing, the minimal paperwork necessary to buy a gun under federal law, the Brady background check all buyers must go through to purchase a weapon from a licensed dealer, and the fact that ATF is allowed to check a dealer's sales records once a year (a privilege the agency has the manpower to employ on a far less frequent basis). Yet these are sales standards, not product safety standards. ATF lacks any of the health and safety authority that is routinely granted -- and usually expected by the American public -- for other consumer products. Imagine if there were no FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to oversee air safety. Would the public tolerate it if 100 Boeing 777s crashed every year? Of course not. But that would result in the same loss of life as the 30,000 Americans who are killed year in and and year out by guns.
With President Obama's signing of a bill granting the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over the tobacco industry, we are now left with only the gun makers as the last American industry not regulated for health and safety.
As Mr. Sugarmann said, guns are now the only consumer product manufactured in America not regulated by a federal agency for health and safety. Does that sound right to you?
Why are gun owners so against anything to do with gun control? Are they afraid it will inconvenience them in their daily lives or do they fear a slippery slope leading to government confiscation?
What's your opinion?